Two Rivers options hit show Top Dog for UK and Ireland

Fast-growing indie Two Rivers Media has optioned A+E Networks’ hit canine competition series Top Dog for both the UK and Irish markets. Created by MGM’s Big Fish Entertainment and broadcast as America’s Top Dog on A+E Networks’ A&E channel in the US, the series debuted to a massive audience for A&E and reached a total of 25M total viewers throughout its run.

In Top Dog, teams of dogs and their owners compete nose-to-nose on the ultimate canine obstacle course. The skilled teams are tested on their speed, agility, and teamwork by completing a series of expert tasks on a massive obstacle course. Each week’s winning team receives prize money and an additional sum to donate to the animal charity of their choice. In the final week of competition, top competitors return to the finale course to battle for the “Top Dog” title and an additional cash prize.

Mirella Breda, Head of Entertainment, Two Rivers, says: “As soon as we saw America’s Top Dog, we knew that this was a fresh and exciting way to celebrate the unique bond between dogs and their owners.  I can see why it’s been such a huge hit in the States - it’s got that magic combination of high octane challenges and big emotional stories.  It’s exactly the kind of television Two Rivers is about and we can’t wait to bring this format to audiences in the UK and Ireland.”

Robyn Hurd, VP Content Sales EMEA, A+E Networks International, says: "We are so excited to be working with the wonderful team at Two Rivers and excited to bring Top Dog to screens in the UK and Ireland. Top Dog celebrates the special relationship between an owner and their dog and demonstrates the skill and intelligence of our favourite pets making this a sure fire hit for a mainstream audience. We are thrilled about Top Dog - a unique and joyful format which will work well here and globally. ”

Two Rivers’ option of Top Dog was supported by the National Lottery through Screen Scotland’s Broadcast Content Fund.

David Smith, Director of Screen Scotland, says: “Congratulations to the team at Two Rivers. Screen Scotland is committed to supporting the Scottish sector to develop and secure large scale, returnable formats that can, in turn, deliver jobs, skills development and training opportunities.”

America’s Top Dog was hosted by Fox NFL Sunday award-winning broadcaster Curt Menefee; expert dog trainer and former US Marine and former member of the Secret Service, Nick White; and seasoned motor sports reporter and animal rescue ambassador Jamie Little.

Produced at night to give identical lighting for all participants, the series was shot on an extensive set boasting a footprint larger than the set of Ninja Warrior USA. The live action was captured by an intricate range of cameras, drones and vehicle-mounted cars.

Notes to Editors

Two Rivers Media is one of the most ambitious new indies to launch onto the market in recent years. Founded by CEO Alan Clements, former Director of Content at STV Productions, and headquartered in Glasgow, Two Rivers aims to create compelling content in factual, factual entertainment, entertainment and scripted.  This multi-genre company of scale to serve the Scottish, UK and international markets.

A+E Networks® is a global content company comprised of some of the most popular and culturally-relevant brands in media including A&E®, Lifetime®, HISTORY®, LMN®, FYI®, VICELAND®, Blaze® and Crime+Investigation®.  A+E Networks’ portfolio extends across platforms and genres, with a scripted production division, A+E Studios™; unscripted production through Six West™; independent film unit A&E IndieFilms®; watch apps, games, FAST channels, AVOD, and SVOD initiatives including A&E Crime Central, Lifetime Movie Club and HISTORY Vault; and podcasts such as History This Week, through A+E Digital®;  Experiential/branded live events and Ecommerce through A+E Consumer Enterprises®; and branded channels, content distribution and scripted/unscripted co-productions around the world through A+E International®.  A+E Networks’ channels and branded programming reach more than 335 million households in over 200 territories in 41 languages. A+E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst.

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. Sitting within Creative Scotland, it is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. With funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support.